Posts Tagged ‘Recessions’

HOUSEHOLD BALANCE SHEETS AND THE RECOVERY

HOUSEHOLD BALANCE SHEETS AND THE RECOVERY

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

Pedro Amaral of the Cleveland Fed wrote an excellent piece in today’s “Economic Trends” on the state of the recovery and the cause of the slower than normal recovery.  His conclusions are exactly in-line with my own: we are in a balance sheet recession that is largely caused by the implosion of the household balance sheet:

“The chart below shows the behavior of households’ (and nonprofit organizations’) net worth in the last six recessions. It is apparent that in the last two the damage to households’ balance sheets was both deeper with and more protracted than in the previous episodes. What was behind the drop in the latest recession? During this period, liabilities were roughly constant, so the drop happened because of declines in asset values caused by the real-estate collapse and the subsequent depreciation in financial assets. In the 2000 recession the drop was due to the stock market collapse. In contrast, in the twin recessions of the early 1980s, net worth never decreased, and in the early 1990s it dropped only about 2 percent.”

cleve12 HOUSEHOLD BALANCE SHEETS AND THE RECOVERY

“The drops in household net worth help explain the protracted recoveries after the last two recessions. Personal consumption expenditures are the single biggest component of GDP at around 70 percent. If there is to be a solid recovery, consumption needs to increase at a substantially higher rate than the 1.7 percent it has averaged over the last year. But households are not going to start consuming at substantially higher rates until they have fixed their balance sheet problems. This is why the savings rate has been so high lately: Households are working hard at improving their wealth to income ratios at the expense of consumption. In previous recessions, since net worth did not fall by a substantial amount, this was not a problem. As incomes started growing again, consumption followed suit. Right now, an important part of that income growth is being channeled to savings. As the chart above illustrates, net worth is still well below prerecession levels and, barring an increase in asset prices (real-estate prices or stock market prices), the only way to increase it is by saving more and consuming less, further delaying the recovery.”

His conclusion, clearly, is similar to my own.  We will not see above trend growth until the consumer balance sheet is…
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THE LABOR MARKET NEVER RECOVERED

THE LABOR MARKET NEVER RECOVERED

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

Chatter of a “recovery” is back on the table after the markets schizophrenic actions in recent days. It’s amazing how quickly sentiment can change from tremendously bearish to tremendously bullish. Interesting lot us human beings are….Highlighted in this “recovery” talk was the “better than expected” jobs data.  Jobless claims were “better than expected”, ISM manufacturing employment data hit news highs (although services, which is a MUCH larger portion of the economy declined) and the non-farm payrolls report capped off the week with a “better than expected” report.  But if we take a step back here and look at the big picture you’ll actually notice that there has been ZERO recovery in the labor market.  Unemployment has actually deteriorated when compared to the end of past recessions. Without a recovery in the labor markets I think it’s impossible to say that the economy is rebounding.  As of now, the outlook remains negative.

labor1 THE LABOR MARKET NEVER RECOVERED

 

labor2 THE LABOR MARKET NEVER RECOVERED

Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities


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Initial Jobless Claims Jump while Philly Fed Signals Economic Contraction

Initial Jobless Claims Jump while Philly Fed Signals Economic Contraction

Courtesy of Rom Badilla, at Bondsquawk.com

Falling Businessman

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve released its manufacturing survey for August, which suggests economic contraction and may lead the Federal Reserve to promote additional stimulus measures.  The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Outlook survey or simply “Philly Fed” for August plummets to a negative reading of 7.7 versus economists’ surveys of +7.0.  This marks the third consecutive decline after the outlook survey peaked in May at 21.40.

Behind the headlines, components that represent economic growth were especially weak.  Specifically, New Orders dropped further into negative territory to -7.1 from a prior month’s reading of -4.3.  Inventories fell from +4.5 in July to -11.6 while the Number of Employees component dropped from 4.0 to an August reading of -2.7.

Inflation expectations should remain subdued and keep bond yields in check as price pressures fall, judging by some of the Philly Fed components.  Prices Paid dropped from +13.1 in July to +11.8.  In addition, the Prices Received component continues to drive deeper into negative territory.  The Prices Received component fell to -12.5 following prints of -6.5 and -8.4 in June and July, respectively.

The Philadelphia Fed numbers carry significant weight since the index is heavily correlated to the ISM manufacturing index and the index of industrial production, which both measure the health of U.S. economic activity.  ISM Manufacturing should it fall below 50 in the coming months may lead the Federal Reserve to act in providing stimulus measures via Quantitative Easing.

The number of people in the U.S. filing for employment benefits increased last week according to the Department of Labor. Initial Jobless Claims for the week ending August 14 jumped to 500k people.  The number of people who recently became unemployed and are now accessing government benefits was revised upward in the previous week by four thousand to 488k.  The increase, which the highest reading since November of 2009, highlights the beginning of deterioration of the employment landscape in the last few weeks as economists were expecting a reading of 478k.  Furthermore, the 4-week moving average, which is used to smooth out volatility to establish a better reading of trends, continues to inch higher to 482,500 people and is on the higher end of the recent range of 450-500k that has been established since last November.  With this in mind, the number is…
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About that recovery you ordered

About that recovery you ordered

Courtesy of James D. Hamilton at Econbrowser 

"We have met the enemy and he is us," Pogo used to say. Well, we’ve also now met the recovery, and he is ugly.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported today that U.S. real GDP grew at an annual rate of 2.4% during the second quarter. The latest GDP numbers bring our Econbrowser Recession Indicator Index for 2010:Q1 down to 5.4%. This index is based on a very simple pattern-recognition algorithm for characterizing economic recessions. It is not a prediction of where the economy is headed, but rather a backward-looking assessment of where the economy stood as of the first quarter, using today’s 2010:Q2 data release to help inform that assessment.

University of Oregon Professor Jeremy Piger maintains a related index which has been at or below 1% for each month so far of 2010, while the most recent value calculated by U.C. Riverside Professor Marcelle Chauvet‘s algorithm is 7.8%. All three approaches agree that the economy remains in a growth phase that began in the third quarter of last year. A subsequent economic downturn would be described as the beginning of a new recession rather than a continuation of the previous recession.

 GDP-led Recession

*The plotted value for each date is based solely on information as it would have been publicly available and reported as of one quarter after the indicated date, with 2010:Q1 the last date shown on the graph. Shaded regions (with the exception of 2007:Q4-2009:Q2) represent dates of NBER recessions, which were not used in any way in constructing the index, and which were sometimes not reported until two years after the date. The most recent recession is shown on the graph as ending in 2009:Q2 as implied by the index; as of this writing the NBER has not yet assigned an end date for this recession.

But a pretty recovery it’s not. The economy has grown by 3.2% in real terms over the last year, about the average annual historical growth rate since World War II. But since recessions are characterized by below-average growth, expansions should typically exhibit above-average growth, and particularly in the first year of an expansion we often see very strong growth as a result of the positive contribution…
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Some Thoughts on Deflation

Some Thoughts on Deflation

Courtesy of John Mauldin at Thoughts from the Frontline 

CHICAGO - DECEMBER 13: An inflatable bear is deflated after player introductions before a game between the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field on December 13, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. The Packers defeated the Bears 21-14. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Some Thoughts on Deflation
The Super-Trend Puzzle
The Elements of Deflation
Maine, New York, Turks and Caicos, and Europe

The debate over whether we are in for inflation or deflation was alive and well at the Agora Symposium in Vancouver this this week. It seems that not everyone is ready to join the deflation-first, then-inflation camp I am currently resident in. So in this week’s letter we look at some of the causes of deflation, the elements of deflation, if you will, and see if they are in ascendancy. For equity investors, this is an important question because, historically, periods of deflation have not been kind to stock markets. Let’s come at this week’s letter from the side, and see if we can sneak up on some answers.

Even on the road (and maybe especially on the road, as I get more free time on airplanes) I keep up with my rather large reading habit. This week, the theme in various publications was the lack of available credit for small businesses, with plenty of anecdotal evidence. This goes along with the surveys by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, which continue to show a difficult credit market.

Businesses are being forced to scramble for needed investments, generally having to make do with cash flow and working out of profits. This is an interesting quandary for government policy makers, as 75% of the "rich" that will see the Bush tax cuts go away are small businesses.

There was a great graphic (that I now cannot find) showing that all net new jobs of the past two decades have come from small businesses and start-ups. And yet as of now, when structural employment is over 10% (if you count those who were considered to be in the work force just a few months ago), we want to reduce the availability of revenues to the very people we want to be hiring new workers, and who are cash-starved as it is.

It is not just that taxes will go from 35% to just under 40%. It is the increase in Medicare taxes coming down the pike, too. We are taking money from private hands, where it has the potential…
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The Dismal Science Really Is

The Dismal Science Really Is

Courtesy of John Mauldin at Thoughts from the Frontline 

Some Really Dismal Numbers 
Unemployment Went Down? 
Earnings Take a Hit 
Money Supply Concerns 
A Central Banker’s Nightmare 
Why Don’t You Reform Yourselves?

There’s a reason economics is called the dismal science, and weeks like this just give it further meaning. In economics, there is what you see and what you don’t. This week we are going to examine the headline data we all see and then take a look for what most observers do not see. Then we’ll try to think about what it all really means. With employment, housing, and the ISM numbers, there is a lot to cover. And this letter will print out longer than usual, as there are a lot of charts. Warning: remove sharp objects from the vicinity and pour yourself your favorite adult beverage. This does not make for fun reading.

Some Really Dismal Numbers

The unemployment numbers this morning were just bad, even though the spin doctors were out in force. Of course we knew that because of census workers being laid off the number would be negative, and it was, down 125,000. But the "bright spot" we were told about was that private payrolls came in at 83,000 new jobs. Let’s look at what you did not see or hear.

First, last month’s dismal (there’s that word again) private job-creation number was revised down from 41,000 to 33,000. So in two months, total private job creation is 116,000 jobs. We need 125,000 jobs per month just to keep up with population growth.

But it is worse than that. The headline number we look at is from the Establishment Survey. That means they call up existing businesses they know about and ask them how many people are working for them, etc. One of the first things I do when the employment numbers come out is look at the birth/death assessment on the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) web site.

For new readers, the birth/death assessment has nothing to do with people dying, but rather is the BLS’s attempt to estimate the number of new businesses that have been created or have "died" within the last month, and they use these numbers to adjust the employment total. They use historical, seasonal numbers to create a model from which they make these estimates. There is nothing conspiratorial about the…
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The mindset will not change; a depressionary relapse may be coming

The mindset will not change; a depressionary relapse may be coming

Courtesy of Edward Harrison at Credit Writedowns 

When former Morgan Stanley chief Asian economist Andy Xie comments on the United States, he focuses on a bailout nation keen on perpetuating a bubble economy predicated on malinvestment and overconsumption.  In this he sees parallels with Japan and its long malaise.

Japan has experienced two decades of economic stagnation since the collapse of the infamous bubble it suffered in the 1980s. The most popular explanations are that Tokyo wasn’t aggressive enough in stimulating the economy after the bubble burst, or that it withdrew its stimulus too early – or both. This line of thinking is popular among elite economists in the US, where it is rarely challenged. But few Japanese analysts buy it…

The argument to "stimulate until prosperity returns" is popular because it doesn’t hurt anyone in the short term. When a central bank prints money, its nasty consequence — inflation — takes time to show up. When a government spends borrowed money, repayment is in the future. Nobody feels the pain now. Indeed, when debt is sufficiently long-dated, nobody alive need feel the pain. So analysts who advocate stimulus are popular with politicians because it sounds like a free lunch. Japan’s tale is just a nice story that seems to support the argument…

Japan has run up the national debt equal to 200% of GDP — the greatest Keynesian stimulus program in history — all in the name of stimulating the economy back to health. It has failed miserably. Japan’s nominal GDP is about the same as when the stimulus began. Those who advocated the policy blame Japan’s failure on either the stimulus being too small or not being sustained for long enough – that is, the dosage, not the medicine itself, was at fault.

The bankruptcy of Japan Airlines is a sobering reminder of what is still wrong with Japan. It stayed with unprofitable routes for years without its creditors or shareholders being able to do anything about it. And by making credit cheap and easy, the stimulus prolonged the airline’s business model — actually,


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Is Gold Getting Bubbly?

Yesterday I posted an article by RICK BOOKSTABERThe Gold Bubble, in the Favorites. Having no opinion on the short or long term movement in the price of gold, I thought Rick’s article was thought-provoking, as he reasonably questioned the mass and loudish flow of money into gold investments.

Man holding glowing gold orbs

Zero Hedge also posted the article, with a more critical introduction. I then perused ZH’s comment section to find a lot of animosity towards Rick’s opinion, even directed at his character (he works for the SEC!). The highly emotional tone surprised me, indicating a core belief was being challenged, as opposed to the fun and discovery of an intellectual debate.  (Maybe this is typical in comment sections.)

Anyway, in this article, Nico Isaac also questions the faith many people have placed in GOLD as the next safety net against the ruin of our financial system.  

For more on gold from EWI, download Robert Prechter’s FREE 40-Page Gold and Silver eBook.  Ilene 

 

Gold: Best Supporting Role In Economic Downturns? Think Again

Gold’s safe-haven status is based on hype, not history 

Courtesy of EWI, by Nico Isaac

As I sat down to watch the Oscar pre-show on Sunday night, March 7, one word was repeatedly used to describe the celebrity starlets and their designer duds: GOLD. Gold bustiers and gold lame skirts, shiny gun-metal dresses and glittery sequined gowns all basking in the golden shadow of the final golden statue.

Everywhere you look, from the Red Carpet to Wall Street, gold is definitely in "fashion." As for why, one word comes to mind: safe-haven. See, according to the mainstream financial experts, the more unstable the global economy, the greater the appeal for the precious metal.

And, with a staggering 17% unemployment rate in the United States, alongside slumping real estate sales, Eurozone weakness, the Greece debt debacle, and so on — the only thing going up is gold’s supposed disaster premium. Here, take these recent news items for example:

  • "Bullion Sales Hit Record In Stampede To Safety." (Financial Times)
  • "Gold Ticks Higher On Safe Haven Buying. The risk trade is resuming." (AP)
  • "Gold Rose to 6 ½ Week Highs as the metal benefits from fears over financial instability in general. The market is looking for some security with gold." (Reuters)
  • "Gold Rush: This is a new round of safe haven buying." (Bloomberg)

There’s just one problem: The correlation between a falling…
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Why Our Economy Is Utterly Screwed

Why Our Economy Is Utterly Screwed

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker


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DEEP THOUGHTS FROM RICHARD RUSSELL

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DEEP THOUGHTS FROM RICHARD RUSSELL

economic cyclesCourtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

Regular readers know that I am a huge fan of Richard Russell’s work.  For those who aren’t familiar with Russell, he is the author of The Dow Theory letters.   Obviously, he is a student of Dow Theory (perhaps professor is more appropriate).  Most importantly though Russell is about as experienced an investor as you’ll find on the planet.  He has lived through cycles that no one else can even remember.

I like to think that the market works on a different clock from the rest of the world.  Economic cycles are often long and drawn out.  It can be hard for humans to comprehend economic cycles because the length of an economic cycle is not based in years or months.  It can literally work on its own clock.  The current deleveraging cycle is particularly frustrating for investors because these types of recessions tend to be long and drawn out unlike your average 8-16 month recession.  A full economic cycle can be anywhere from 5 years to 25 years from peak to trough.  Humans, particularly investors, have trouble seeing past the next 5 to 25 minutes.  It’s safe to say that Mr. Russell has seen more cycles than anyone and his educational and priceless commentary is evidence of this.  I’ve included some of his notes from this latest week and highly recommend his newsletter.  His ability to grasp the big picture is truly unmatched:

Question — Russell, you seem to think this is going to be a world-class bear market. Why do you think that?

Answer — The US and its people have been borrowing and leveraging for decades or ever since WW II. There’s never been a true correction in the economy, although there have been corrections in the stock market (1973-74 and 1957-58). Consumer buying makes up 70% of the Gross National Product of the US. For the first time in decades, US consumers are dealing with massive unemployment. This is scaring them and causing them to cut back in their buying and now they are actually saving. Fear is the strongest of all human emotions, and US consumers are finally dealing with naked fear. I believe this fear will bring on years of saving and a long period


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Phil's Favorites

Disney teams up with Secret Cinema - watching movies will never be the same again

 

Disney teams up with Secret Cinema – watching movies will never be the same again

Secret Cinema’s production of Moulin Rouge. Secret Cinema

Courtesy of Sarah Atkinson, King's College London and Helen W. Kennedy, University of Nottingham

Disney’s recent deal with the immersive experience company Secret Cinema signals a new era for the cinema industry. New film titles from the Disne...



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Zero Hedge

BBC Claims Iranian Government Is Lying About Outbreak: Real Death Toll Is 210, Not 34

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Given the Iranian regime's recent history of brazenly lying to the public despite its obvious culpability, we were certainly intrigued when a local lawmaker in Qom told reporters that at least 50 people had died from the coronavirus in his city alone.

Iranian authorities denied these ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Financial Crisis Deja Vu: Home Construction Index Double Top?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Most of us remember the 2007-2009 financial crisis because of the collapse in home prices and its effect on the economy.

One key sector that tipped off that crisis was the home builders.

The home builders are an integral piece to our economy and often signal “all clears” or “short-term warnings” to investors based on their economic health and how the index trades.

In today’s chart, we highlight the Dow Jones Home Construction Index. It has climbed all the way back to its pre-crisis highs… BUT it immediately reversed lower from there.

This raises concerns about a double top.

This pr...



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Insider Scoop

A Peek Into The Markets: US Stock Futures Plunge Amid Coronavirus Fears

Courtesy of Benzinga

Pre-open movers

U.S. stock futures traded lower in early pre-market trade. South Korea confirmed 256 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, while China reported an additional 327 new cases. Data on U.S. international trade in goods for January, wholesale inventories for January and consumer spending for January will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The Chicago PMI for February is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET, while the University of Michigan's consumer sentime...



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Biotech & Health

Could coronavirus really trigger a recession?

 

Could coronavirus really trigger a recession?

Coronavirus seems to be on a collision course with the US economy and its 12-year bull market. AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

Courtesy of Michael Walden, North Carolina State University

Fears are growing that the new coronavirus will infect the U.S. economy.

A major U.S. stock market index posted its biggest two-day drop on record, erasing all the gains from the previous two months; ...



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The Technical Traders

SPY Breaks Below Fibonacci Bearish Trigger Level

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our research team wanted to share this chart with our friends and followers.  This dramatic breakdown in price over the past 4+ days has resulted in a very clear bearish trigger which was confirmed by our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system.  We believe this downside move will target the $251 level on the SPY over the next few weeks and months.

Some recent headline articles worth reading:

On January 23, 2020, we ...



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Promotions

Free, Live Webinar on Stocks, Options and Trading Strategies

TODAY's LIVE webinar on stocks, options and trading strategy is open to all!

Feb. 26, 1pm EST

Click HERE to join the PSW weekly webinar at 1 pm EST.

Phil will discuss positions, COVID-19, market volatility -- the selloff -- and more! 

This week, we also have a special presentation from Mike Anton of TradeExchange.com. It's a new service that we're excited to be a part of! 

Mike will show off the TradeExchange's new platform which you can try for free.  

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Chart School

Oil cycle leads the stock cycle

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Sure correlation is not causation, but this chart should be known by you.

We all know the world economy was waiting for a pin to prick the 'everything bubble', but no one had any idea of what the pin would look like.

Hence this is why the story of the black swan is so relevant.






There is massive debt behind the record high stock markets, there so much debt the political will required to allow central banks to print trillions to cover losses will likely effect elections. The point is printing money to cover billions is unlikely to upset anyone, however printing trillions will. In 2007 it was billions, in 202X it ...

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Members' Corner

Threats to democracy: oligarchy, feudalism, dictatorship

 

Threats to democracy: oligarchy, feudalism, dictatorship

Courtesy of David Brin, Contrary Brin Blog 

Fascinating and important to consider, since it is probably one of the reasons why the world aristocracy is pulling its all-out putsch right now… “Trillions will be inherited over the coming decades, further widening the wealth gap,” reports the Los Angeles Times. The beneficiaries aren’t all that young themselves. From 1989 to 2016, U.S. households inherited more than $8.5 trillion. Over that time, the average age of recipients rose by a decade to 51. More ...



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Digital Currencies

Altcoin season 2.0: why bitcoin has been outgunned by crypto rivals since new year

 

Altcoin season 2.0: why bitcoin has been outgunned by crypto rivals since new year

‘We have you surrounded!’ Wit Olszewski

Courtesy of Gavin Brown, Manchester Metropolitan University and Richard Whittle, Manchester Metropolitan University

When bitcoin was trading at the dizzying heights of almost US$2...



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ValueWalk

What US companies are saying about coronavirus impact

By Aman Jain. Originally published at ValueWalk.

With the coronavirus outbreak coinciding with the U.S. earnings seasons, it is only normal to expect companies to talk about this deadly virus in their earnings conference calls. In fact, many major U.S. companies not only talked about coronavirus, but also warned about its potential impact on their financial numbers.

Q4 2019 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Coronavirus impact: many US companies unclear

According to ...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

 

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

Courtesy of  

The repo market problem isn’t the problem. It’s a sideshow, a diversion, and a joke. It’s a symptom of the problem.

Today, I got a note from Liquidity Trader subscriber David, a professional investor, and it got me to thinking. Here’s what David wrote:

Lee,

The ‘experts’ I hear from keep saying that once 300B more in reserves have ...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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